“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20b
This passage is embedded in the Parable of the Lost Son. What struck me anew, is what an incredibly forgiving and lasting love that that father had for his son. The love was not dependant on what the son had or had not done, rather it was because the young man, was his son. In light that the father saw him from a long way off, leads me to believe that he was watching for him, hoping that he might one day return. Then, when he saw him, skinny and bedraggled, he was overcome with compassion and ran to his boy. When at last they were standing face to face, the son must have shamefully peered upon his father’s face, expecting scorn or disgust; yet was greeted with eyes full of forgiveness and love, and arms opened wide to embrace and kiss his kid, whom he desperately loved.
I love that this parable is about how God sees us, His created. No longer are we viewed as sinful and shameful, wretched souls. Rather, He, the God of the whole universe, sees us as His sons and daughters, because of the atoning sacrifice of His Son. When we have confessed our sins and have come clean in Christ, our stains are gone and we are seen though His eyes of love. When we sin, when we fall short, when we run far from Him, He watches and waits to welcome us back into His embrace, as His Holy Spirit woos us unto Him.
This very love that He lavishes upon us, is meant to be shared with the world. Kindness, forgiveness, compassion – all attributes anointed upon those who draw near.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when we were a long way off, You never lost sight of us, nor love for us. Thank You that You pursue us and show us kindness, love and compassion, despite what we deserve. Thank You that You sent You Son so that we could be called clean and come before Your heavenly throne, unashamed. Teach us to display Your heart to the hurting, and You great love to all who have lost their way. Help us to be ever aware of Your embrace, and may we always be cognizant of Your forgiveness and grace. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present